How Heavy Can A Checked Bag Be?

Last Updated on November 24, 2021

One of the great things about traveling with only hand luggage is that you don’t need to worry about the weight of your suitcase because there are no weight limits.

But if you are flying with checked baggage you do need to worry about the weight of your suitcase.

Because overweight baggage will usually result in a extra baggage fee and it’s not cheap.

Let’s see what the weight limits are and what the baggage fees will be if you go over.

How Much Can Luggage Weigh?

Most airlines in the US have a checked luggage weight limit of 50 lbs.

Allegiant and Spirit stand out from the crowd by only allowing your checked bag to be 40 lbs.

What Happens If Your Luggage Is Over 50 lbs

The amount that airlines charge for overweight baggage varies. One thing is for sure, it won’t be cheap.

You can see how heavy your check-in bag can be and the fee for being overweight highlighted in the table below:

AirlineMaximum Check-In Bag DimensionsMaximum Check-In Bag WeightFees For 1st BagFees For Oversize BagFee For Overweight Bag
American Airlines62 Linear Inches50 lbs$30$150 – $200$100 – $450
Delta Airlines62 Linear Inches50 lbs$30$200 – $300$100 – $200
United Airlines62 Linear Inches50 lbs$30Up to $200$100 – $200
Southwest Airlines62 Linear Inches 50 lbs$0 – The first two bags checked are fee-free $75$75
JetBlue62 Linear Inches50 lbs$30$150$150
Frontier62 Linear Inches 50 lbs$30$75$75
Spirit62 Linear Inches40 lbs$34$100 – $150$35 – $100
Alaska Airlines62 Linear Inches50 lbs$30$100$100
Allegiant80 Linear Inches40 lbs$25 – $35$75$50 – $75
Hawaiian Airlines62 Linear Inches50 lbs$25 – $30$35 – $100$35 – $70

What’s The International Maximum Checked Luggage Weight

There is no standard worldwide weight limit for a checked bag or for international checked bag size.

Airlines around the world tend to have a similar weight maximum weight limit for hold luggage. The main difference is they call it 23 kg rather than 50 pounds.

Once you know the specific airline you are flying with then double check how heavy a checked bag can be with them. Especially if you are flying with a low-cost airline.

If your bag is too heavy try to move some items from your checked bag into a carry-on bag to reduce the weight of your baggage and get under the weight limit.

Get Yourself A Luggage Scale

While there are ways to estimate the weight of a suitcase without a luggage scale it’s a lot easier to weigh your luggage with a proper gadget.

A luggage scale like this one is perfect to just keep inside your suitcase at all times.

Order one now so you’ll have it when you need it. It could save you a lot of money, and will definitely put your mind at ease.

The Verdict

Nothing ruins the start of a trip more than a fee for an overweight bag!

While most airlines in the US allow checked luggage to be 50 lbs Spirit and Allegiant only allow 40 lb hold luggage.

If you are flying internationally then check with your airline about how heavy a checked bag can be.

Transfer any heavy items into your carry-in bag or personal item bag to reduce the weight of your checked luggage.

If that’s not enough then try some of our packing light tips.

Always check how heavy your checked luggage is before you go to the airport. It’s much better to be safe than sorry!

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